On this 2nd Sunday of Advent let’s look into why Mary and Joseph ended up in Bethlehem for the birth of their son, Jesus. Their faith and perseverance are a testimony to an essential piece of the story God had written. The travel conditions were harsh and the back of a donkey was no place for a woman who was nine months pregnant but it was necessary. The pause from here to there allowed Mary and Joseph the time to prepare for all that was to come.
I read the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke and see the miracle of this story. I also know I would not have endured that night as gracefully, tenderly or successfully as Mary.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a]Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:1-7.
I imagine the time Mary and Joseph spent traveling together was one of quiet, deep heart work. The thought of what was about to happen was not far from their minds. They needed the space to align their internal emotions with all that was happening on the outside.
The 2nd Sunday of Advent reminds me that until I let God do the deep heart work for me I am not ready to travel. Preparing and allowing God to refine who I am requires a stillness that I don’t always feel. I want to reach Christmas day knowing that God left the perfect gift for me and I am ready to receive it. But in this time of in-between, I want to open my heart to receiving the redemption and grace that comes from Jesus. And on the days I am struggling against my weakness, I pray I remember Jesus has won the battle and I fight on the ground of His victory.
Today’s Advent reflection looks at the challenge to embrace quiet and stillness as part of our daily routine. Will you join me in the challenge? What does quiet stillness look like for you and how is God using the time you give Him?
Sabbath blessings! May you find stillness throughout your week!
The music at the beginning of the video was written by my son, Nick Geisen.
Last weekend, my website was down so you can catch up on the 1st Sunday of Advent here.
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